When last we saw The Doctor, it was in a teary goodbye to The Ponds. Amy and Rory were sent back in time in Manhattan, thanks to the Weeping Angels, forced to live a life free of time travel hijinks, flying police boxes and the madmen who operate them.
As Doctor Who returns for its annual Christmas special on Tuesday, December 25 at 9 pm, we will see the toll that heart-wrenching goodbye has taken on the good Doctor.
“The Christmas episode is Doctor Who epitomized and this year we’re going for even more epic,” said executive producer Steven Moffat. “The Doctor, when we meet him, isn’t in a good place. A bit like when we first encountered William Hartnell as The Doctor in 1963 – or indeed Christopher Eccleston in 2005 – this a cold and withdrawn Time Lord, wanting no part of the world around him. It’s going to take a lot of Christmas spirit to get him back out those TARDIS doors.”
Moffat added: “The Doctor is almost defined by his friendships. When they end, and the TARDIS is silent again, he’s a very different man. He’s lost a lot of people in the time we’ve known him, and this Christmas he’s decided he’s finally had enough.”
The story takes place on Christmas Eve, 1892. Jenna-Louise Coleman, who has been announced as the new companion, will play Clara, “an unorthodox young governess” who reaches out to The Doctor for help. How Clara connects to Oswin, the character Coleman played in “Asylum of the Daleks,” is yet to be seen. Oswin was a human who was turned into a Dalek – trapped inside the creatures’ trademark tank-like shell, tragically convinced she was still human. Could Oswin be Clara at a later point in her life, meaning this Christmas episode will somehow give The Doctor a chance to save her from her horrible fate? Knowing Steven Moffat, she could be something else entirely – Oswin’s twin sister, Oswin’s clone, Oswin’s great, great, great grandmother. Personally, I’m excited to see what he has in store.
“It’s going to be quite a journey of discovery with Jenna and her character – and it doesn’t start here, it starts on Christmas Day,” Moffat said. “For now, enough to say, that The Doctor in his darkest hour, long ago in a Victorian winter meets the exactly the right person. Or does he?”
Coleman offered some insight into Clara, though she didn’t reveal how the character was connected to Oswin.
“She is from the Victorian era and a mysterious one,” said Coleman. “Very down to earth, but feisty and curious too with numerous jobs.”
Coleman also explained how her character differs from Amy Pond.
“She isn’t intimidated by The Doctor, instead she finds him amazing and ridiculous. But she is on her own mission and lives by her own means, she is very resourceful,” Coleman said.
Clara is working as a barmaid at the Rose and Crown pub, which The Doctor stumbles into. From there, she follows him, looking for answers and before long the two square off with an army of evil snowmen in a battle that, unsurprisingly, threatens the fate of the entire world.
Matt Smith, who plays The Doctor, explained his character’s transition from sulking Time Lord back to fearless man of action.
“Grieving has its place, but it is important to show that and then propel back in to adventure,” said Smith.
Smith also promised that The Doctor would add another stylish hat to his repertoire. After already making everything from Stetsons to fezzes cool, this year The Doctor will be sporting a Dickensian top hat to complete his Christmas attire.
“It is a bit like The Doctor meets the Artful Dodger,” said Smith.
The episode will air on Christmas Day on BBC America. It co-stars Tom Ward as Captain Latimer, Richard E. Grant as the villainous Doctor Simeon and Ian McKellen as the voice of Simeon’s army of snowmen. You can watch the official trailer below.
Written by Joel Murphy. You can contact Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org.